Sunday, November 19, 2006

Why we milk a cow...NOT for the faint of heart...

There are many reasons we feel it is vitally necessary to own a milk cow today. When we began our searcch for a milk cow, we visited every Jersey dairy within 40 miles of our farm. I was surprised at the number of local dairies. I was appalled at what I saw. My heart broke for the cows....most were hock deep in their own droppings - very few were on green pasture if they were in milk. There was one farm that kept the youngsters on grass, and those waiting to calve but not the cows being currently milked.

I saw things that would make your skin crawl; cats drinking out of the bulk tank, cows being milked with filthy udders and teats, cows that were so injured they could barely walk but were being kept in the hopes of one more day of milk before they became what is known as "downers", and huge vials of dark, murky liquid being poured into milk tanks to counteract the mastitis that was running through the herd....that way the milk would test clean even though it was filled with infection! I was more than horrified!

I looked into those big brown eyes and could see pain and resignation. What an awful life for one of God's creatures....was this stewardship in any sense of the word?....definitely not!!

At first, I thought we had just come across a really bad farm....but, after seeing dozens like this, I  knew that I could never buy milk from the store again. And don't think the term "organic" means a thing when it comes to milk. There are so many loopholes in the system that most "organic" milk is no different than the generic brand....oh....except for the price.

I encourage all of you to learn the truth about "raw milk" and its' benefits...and find out the truth about what the stores call milk. To that are some videos that I encourage you to watch...but be might head out the day after Thanksgiving and instead of hitting the local malls - you may be shopping for a cow!

Monsanto's Deception #1

Monsanto's Deception #2

Monsanto Lied


  1. Man oh man oh man!!! If only people would hear and believe this and make changes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree Denise - or find a local farmer that cares for his cows like the Fullers, Scott Terry , myself and many of the other agrarian bloggers!

  3. One of the difficulties in the American dairy industry is the free market system. To make a profit farmers cut corners on management that results in the abuses you saw and the chemical industries pitch to incease production.

    In Canada, the amount of milk a farmer can ship depends on the amount of quota they are alotted. The government manages the suppy of milk and guarantees thr fsrmer a good return on his investment. Standards of care and quality of milk is highly regulated. The downside is that dairy products are more expensive here than in the US.

    This said there is no excuse for mistreatment of cows, or dirty conditions. Knowingly, shipping tainted milk is a criminal act and should be treated as such.

    I milk a cow myself which was a cull from a dairy farm because it would not great bred. This farmer culled for many reasons including a cow not producing as much as he needed for it to be profitable. It is not profitable to keep a cow that doesn't meet management goals. Trying to squeeze the last bit of milk out of a cow makes no economic sense.

    My cow is in wonderful condition and was afraid outdoors at first as it had been kept inside. It was very clean when I got it and gave me 4 gallons of milk a day. I now let it out daily although it will be kept in during our very cold Winter.

  4. Phillip,
    What you have said is true...and very sad. We sacrifice much in this country... nutrition, choice, exchange for cheap food that ships well and has a long shelf life.

    Our first cow was also a cull - she only gave 4 or 5 gallons a day! More than we could use at the time - but that was before I learned to make cheese, churn butter etc.

    So glad you found a wonderful cow and am sure she is happy living the life she was intended!

  5. I know this is an old post, but hopefully you will get this anyway...

    Where I live (Idaho) Raw Milk is illegal to sell or give. I live next door to a decent (not organic) Jersey dairy, and the thing that stops me from getting one for us is the 12-hour, tied down thing. We're usually here, but with everything else we're doing (Kids 5, almost 3, and on the way), I'm not sure I can commit to that. We're drinking organic grass-fed pasteurized right now. I ran across this article: and wondered what you think. They way they put it it sounds almost do-able, but I wanted a second opinion. I "can" get raw organic (from my black-market supplier) occasionally, but it's been tanked, and driven 200 miles in a truck, and re-tanked by the time I can get it and I'm just not too sure about that...

    Thanks for ANY info...

  6. Ellajac,
    There are ways around the 12-hour thing...the article you sent is excellent...I have seen it done - seperate them 8 to 12 hours before you want to milk and then put them back together until you want to milk again. It works well.
    I would be leery of milk tanked, re-tanked and driven such a long distance - local is always better! The organic, grass-fed milk is wonderful...too bad it is loose all those wonderful enzymes and other I would encourage you to go for it!!!

  7. Thanks so much. I may have to take this leap before I want; the processing plant in my town where I get the organic stuff is shutting down, and it will be much harder to acquire. I'm sure it's different by season and geography, but what is the ballpark range I might expect to pay for an expecting jersey? I don't have a barn, and even my "fence" is debatable, so it might be a little while until I can manage it, anyway...

    I plan to try your whole wheat bread recipe today; haven't ever used gluten before, so I'm looking forward to it.

  8. Ellajac,
    It is different in different areas...right now to find one locally that is young, in good shape (at least three working quarters) the price is about $1400. I have purchased one for as low as $800 at different times though. Let me know if you like the recipe!


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